Saturday, July 18, 2009

US Air Force F-15E Crew Killed in Afghanistan Crash

An F-15E Strike Eagle, like the one shown here, has crashed in eastern Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Aaron Allmon.)

Dispatches from the Front:

SOUTHWEST ASIA, July 18, 2009 -- Two Air Force officers were killed July 18 in the crash of an F-15E Strike Eagle. The aircraft, assigned to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., was flying in support of coalition operations in eastern Afghanistan. The crash occurred at approximately 3:15 A.M. Kabul time.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families and loved ones...and to the Airmen and the joint and coalition team members who called them friends and will miss their fellow warriors," said Lt. Gen. Gary North, U.S. Air Forces Central commander.

A team of U.S. and coalition forces immediately responded to the crash site, secured it and recovered the Airmen.

Notification of the officers' next of kin is ongoing, and the names have not yet been released, consistent with Department of Defense policy.

The Airmen will be returned to their families through a dignified transfer from Afghanistan to the United States.

The crash was not due to hostile fire. A board of officers will be convened to conduct a thorough investigation of the incident.

(Report from a U.S. Air Force news release.)

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